While welcoming new state president Ajay Kumar Lallu at a function organised at UP Congress Committee headquarters in Lucknow on Friday, senior party leaders appealed to the gathering: Target Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) before going after the BJP as these two parties had caused more harm to the Congress and were also responsible for BJP’s revival in the state.
The leaders urged that the Congress should first maintain its distance from these two parties and then move forward. This is the first time such a strong reaction has come from the Congress, while BSP chief Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav have been criticising the party for long.
On Friday, the attack on the two parties was initiated by former MP from Faizabad and former state president Nirmal Khatri, who told the gathering, “The politics of UP is very strange and just taking name of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi or (Chief Minister) Yogi (Adityanath) will not serve any purpose. We will have to first bury the cycle and the elephant that damaged us the most.”
Khatri said the day these parties became strong was the day BJP, too, became strong. He added that the public wanted to support the Congress but sometimes it went with Cycle (Samajwadi Party symbol) or sometimes with elephant (BSP symbol). He added, “If we have to defeat BJP, we will have to first push these parties into a ditch.”
Another senior party leader, P L Punia, said, “We are out of power and one of the main reasons for this was our alliance with SP and BSP. We became weak because of that alliance and now we will have to distance ourselves from them. These parties have no ideology and work only on their personal benefits.”
Punia told the gathering, which included members of the newly formed Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, that in 1977 also, the Congress was weak and even former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was defeated. But, he added, within a year there was an election in Azamgarh and Indira Gandhi personally campaigned for Congress candidate Mohsina Kidwai, who won the election and in the next two years, the Congress won with majority.
Ajay Kumar Lallu after taking charge, told party leaders about his past, which he claimed was “full of struggles.” “There are 32 cases registered against me and I have gone to jail 18 times… I have done it for the people.”